The Brood (1979)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Canadian director David Cronenberg followed his graphic vampire variation Rabid with this multi-layered, speculative horror film which addresses the way the repressed demons of the psyche can force their way to the surface. Psychologist Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed), director of the controversial Psychoplasmic Institute and author of the book "The Shape of Rage," encourages his patients to outwardly manifest their anger and fear (aided by some experimental drugs), which then takes physical shape as actual sores, cancers, or strange new organs. One of Raglan's more successful patients (from his point-of-view, anyway) is Nola Carveth (Samantha Eggar), who is undergoing therapy following a painful divorce from her husband, Frank (Art Hindle). When Frank discovers evidence that Nola may have injured their daughter, Candice (Cindy Hinds), he begins to suspect Raglan's techniques but is unprepared for the most horrifying by-product of her rage: a progeny of sexless, dwarflike mutants who are born for the sole purpose of acting out her violent fantasies of revenge. Containing only enough energy to carry out their murderous tasks, the brood is dispatched to kill Nola's parents, then a woman she believes is having an affair with Frank. By the time Frank discovers the origins of the tiny offspring, they have already abducted Candice and taken her to the institute, where Frank must confront Nola in person. Although it contains one of the most visceral and nauseating scenes in movie history (during the film's climax), this nevertheless remains the most subtle of Cronenberg's early horror projects, with a strong subtext about the devastating effects of divorce. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi … More
Related News & Features
Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Brood Remakes Get Directors
– Los Angeles Times
Cory Goodman to Remake Cronenberg's Brood
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for The Brood
The Brood is an el sleazo exploitation film, camouflaged by the presence of several well-known stars but guaranteed to nauseate you all the same.
Shedding the grindhouse skin of the early films for a cool-clinical sheen, Cronenberg exhumes the deformed feelings of relationships erected on circles of pain while locating a bruised new dignity in the characters caught in them
it's Cronenberg's Kramer Vs. Kramer - although Benton's film never featured dwarfish homicidal psychopaths amongst its methods for bridging irreconcilable differences.
Another terrifying gem from Cronenberg's early years
One of the great filmmaker's best films, and a stylistic -- if not budgetary -- breakthrough.
A definitive metaphor for the coldness and cruelty of acrimonious divorce.
One of Cronenberg's earliest and ickiest explorations of our fragile flesh.
Canadian splatter-movie auteur David Cronenberg was a lot more interesting when he made movies for drive-ins instead of arthouses, and this visionary horror film ranks among his most disturbing, provocative work.
Audience Reviews for The Brood
From the master of body horror David Cronenberg came this gruesome and thoroughly amusing film that is better to be seen without knowing anything about (even if it isn't exactly surprising or any hard to guess), and it has an unforgettable ending that was bound to become instant classic.More
This is one of the earliest horror films from mastermind David Cronenberg, and probably the most grounded of any of his films. Though it is still grotesque to watch, and definitely has the same ethereal wickedness of films such as "The Fly" and "Videodrome", this film at least tries to show reality in a much more conducive environment. The film follows the lives of separated parents, one of which is the father, Frank (Hindle), who is raising the couple's little girl (Hinds). The mother, Nola (Eggar), is much more interested in finding her center after living in a therapy center run by the somewhat devious Dr. Hal Raglan (Reed). Most of the film we watch her go into different trances and she finds herself crying like a strange child thanks to the beating and emotional abuse caused by her mother (Hogan). The psychological implications of the film rove right into horror as the people around Nola start to find themselves the subject of some strange physical wrath. What makes the film very eerie is completely reliant on the clinic where Nola is staying, which looks more like a darkened sauna. Oliver Reed gives a very genuine performance as the doctor who keeps Nola from the perils of the real world while also keeping her from really living her life to the fullest. He ultimately becomes a mere pawn in the strange supernatural game that Nola conducts. It really is a very warped film, in the sense that there doesn't seem to be a villain and Nola's psyche is obviously flawed, what with her acting like a delusional child. The entities that start mass murdering for her are very creepy, not just because of their deformed faces but because they look a bit like real children. Their origins and the true nature of their instability takes a while to get to, but that just gives more screen time to the killings, and when you have a film that is so weird and supernatural, that works to its advantage. This is definitely a Cronenberg film from start to finish, though some key aspects will surprise.More
significant similarities with zulawski's 'possession' of 2 years later, particularly the misogyny, even more pronounced here. seems both of these films were born of nasty divorce. ollie reed is always a treat, samantha eggar has an unexplained british accent, and the guy who plays her husband is at least inoffensive, more than i can say for sam neill in zulawski's film. i think i enjoyed this one more cuz the creepy kids were so much fun to watch. this was part of a wave of backlash against women's lib in horror films of the 70s-80s, that included 'alien' and 'rosemary's baby', but the tone here is very angry, with eggar's character having no redeeming qualities whatsoever, so just too much black/white. still one of cronenberg's best early works so worth checking outMore
The Brood Quotes
Discuss The Brood on our Movie forum!